Category Archives: Marriage & Family

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Traditions We’ve Started With Our Kids

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When you think back to the special moments in your childhood, it’s the little things that were the most precious. If you had a rough time growing up, they’re even more so. One of my goals as a parent is to create as many of those special moments as possible. Below are a short list of some of the things we’re doing now. Note that none of them are very expensive or hard to do.

1. Weekly Movie Nights

This was Jenn’s idea. On Thursday or Friday night we set up blankets on the floor and eat our dinner and desert in front of a movie. We pause the movie to clean up after we’re done, then finish it up. We don’t watch a ton of TV in our house and none of it all together… so this is a special time for all of us.

2. Decorating Christmas Eve

We put up our tree and decorations after Thanksgiving like most folks… but on Christmas Eve, after the kids have gone to sleep, I bust out a mess of white Christmas lights and hang them all over everything. The next morning the kids always find a single strand running from their doorway all the way through the house and to the tree where this brilliantly (gaudy) display of lights is waiting for them. To me it looks a mess… but to them it’s pure magic.

3. Daddy Dates

Taking my kids out one-on-one to a restaurant is something I do occasionally. It gives Mom a break gives the child my undivided attention. It’s also a time for me to take a different role. So much of the time I’m the comedy relief, the entertainer… this gives me a chance to talk to them and be entertained by them. Good stuff all around.

4. Podcasting

Readers of this blog are hopefully familiar with the occasional audio recordings I do with my daughter called the JennaCast. I’ve been doing them every three our four months since November 2007. Jenna was 2 years old, almost three, when we started. I’ll be doing the same with my son, if he ever gets around to talking. The podcasts give my kids a chance to share in one of my favorite pastimes. It gives them permission to ‘play’ in Daddy’s world for a while. It also provides an audio scrapbook, precious moments in time, that we can all go back and listen to years from now. I think every family should have a podcast.

5. Watching The Rain, Eating Popcorn

Of all of these… this is my personal favorite. It’s the only thing from my childhood that I’ve decided to carry on to my kids. I don’t know how many times it happened… maybe only twice, but when it would rain, my mom would lay down a blanket by the glass-sliding door and make popcorn. We’d sit there, eating popcorn, and watch the rain fall. It’s one of my favorite memories. I just remember it being so relaxing… like watching a fire burn… there was always something different to see. Not to mention the sounds. To this day an overcast day makes me feel great inside… the opposite effect it seems to have on everyone else.

What traditions have you started or carried forward with your kids? Please share yours in the comments!

Teaching your children about God isn’t as complicated as it might seem.

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It’s funny to me how I have no struggles with how to keep my kids healthy. I know to feed them good things and make sure they get plenty of sleep and such. I’m even pretty confident about how to make them smart. I read to them, play with them and make sure they have constructive activities. I even know how to make them behave. I discourage bad behavior and encourage the good. Why is it that I feel confident about the physical and mental aspects of my children… but when it comes to the spiritual side of things… I suddenly feel incapable and maybe even afraid? Can anyone out there relate?

I believe that training up a child to know their Creator is one of the most important thing a parent can do for their children. The world is full of people who have great minds, great health and even great talent… but don’t have the spiritual fortitude to stand for anything other than their own wellbeing… and watch enough VH1: Behind The Music and you’ll see how well that works out for most of them. We can take our kids to Church but their primary source of spiritual input should be their own parents. After nearly 10 years of ministry to children I have seen that my lessons only last until they leave for home, unless what I have preached is reinforcing what has already been taught and lived out in the home. What I teach will only apply in their church. What parents teach reaches everywhere, both inside and outside the home.

How do we raise up our children spiritually? Most of it is actually pretty simple… there’s only one part that can be difficult.

The Easy Stuff:

1. Read to them.

Tell your children stories from the Bible. You don’t have to read them from the Bible. Get a storybook that is age appropriate. If your children are older, let them read it to you. Discuss the stories. Ask how the characters involved felt and what they learned. Tell them how the message applies to their life.

2. Share with them.

Tell them stories of times when God was there for you. Anyone who’s spent any time trying to live right has stories of success and failure. Don’t be afraid to share those moments with your child. I don’t think spelling out dark details of your past is healthy… but keep your sharing age appropriate and your children will see how your relationship with God has shaped the family they’re a part of.

3. Involve them.

Church is important. The older your child is the more important you will find it will become. Children have four main sources for friends: their neighborhood, school, church and activities. Where do you want the majority of their friends to come from? When you consider that Middle School and High School students put more trust in their friend’s opinions then their own parents’, then you will probably want those friends to have similar moral standards to your own. Find a church that cares about families and offers programs that provide opportunities for children to grow in their faith, character and dedication. I’m also a fan of churches who allow families to worship together once in a while. Kids learn by imitation. They can’t learn how to worship from you if they never see you worship.

The Harder Stuff:

4. Live out your faith.

The number one reason most families don’t discipline properly or raise spiritual children is because the parents are not disciplined or spiritual themselves. They know it’s ridiculous to expect behavior from their children when they aren’t modeling it themselves. Raising up children is like duplicating yourself. In many ways children will become what you are now. They will do what you say for only so long… then they’ll do what they see you do. Is your life worth duplicating? If not, work on that. Even if you struggle, it’s a better example than not trying to live for God at all. The only way you can really do it wrong is to quit.

5. Hold them accountable.

Living a life of faith requires living by a set of Godly standards. There is no reason to have them if we don’t enforce them. This is where proper discipline comes in. Proper discipline isn’t always punishment… it’s not trying to make a child be well behaved. It’s training up a child to become a person who prefers good choices over bad, who prefers Godly ways over sinful ones. When we model a Godly life, they get to share the benefits of obedience with you. When we properly punish bad choices we help them see the consequences of sin.

6. Let them choose.

The hardest thing a parent will ever do is let their child go to make their own way in the world. The Bible has a promise that we can trust in. It says that if we show our children the way they should go, then they are older they will go that way. That’s why it’s so important to model our faith for them. We’ll always be parents… but there will be a point where we are no longer parenting. We have to sit back and hope that what we invested in them will carry them through. I will never assume that my child will become a Christian. I will never force it on either of them. I will model a life dedicated to Christ and trust that if it is real, it will be attractive to them.

This article doesn’t have all the answers. It’s not really a how-to. This is simply a call to parents who may not have considered the importance of this aspect of their children’s lives. It’s also an attempt to take the ‘weirdness’ out of investing spiritually into our kids. I’d love it if you would share your feedback and tips on weaving faith into your own children’s lives.

An Attempt To Thank A Supportive Wife

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When trying to describe the amazing job my wife does in supporting me… I would have liked to use an analogy. Nothing I came up with really said what I was trying to say.

She keeps me uplifted and where I’m supposed to be… just like a good bra.

She helps me in my daily walk… like a Dr. Sholes shoe insert.

She keeps me straight… like a retainer.

Like a neck brace… she keeps my head on straight.

She helps me take things slow when I should… like a speed bump.

Like a Jr. High yearbook photo… she reminds me of how far we’ve come.

She keeps me focused… like a locker room peephole.

She keeps me motivated… like a pound bag of Peanut M&M’s.

And last, but not least…

Like a glass of water from Mexico… she helps me get rid of my crap.

None of these things do her justice. She is truly amazing. I know that not only am I a better person because of her… but that my life, and every other life she shares hers with, is a better life for it. Literally, opportunities would not otherwise be a possibility without her with me. She is a close rival for 1st place in my heart… the only one who beats her is The One who gave her to me.

Thanks Jenn.

To Be Or Not To Be

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Just a quick thought today… in the form of a question:

Are you a great spouse & parent, or are you just not a bad one?

In other words…

Are you the spouse and/or parent you were created to be… or are you just the product of a list of things you have committed never to be?

There is a difference.

I realized a while back that though it was a good thing to have a list of things I never wanted to do or be with my wife and kids… basing my goals exclusively on what I want NOT to do was limiting my potential as a husband and father.

How can you become all you were meant to be if you’re focused more on what you don’t want to be rather than what you could be?

I don’t want the best I can be to just be a good version of someone else from my past. I want my best to be all that God wants for me to be.

Confused much? Holler at me in the comments if you get me.

How To Properly Manipulate Your Husband

Yesterday I talked about the scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding where Mom and Daughter were talking. Mom says, “The Husband may be the head, but the Wife is the neck.” or something to that effect. I love that line… because it’s so true.

Today’s post is for the ladies. I want to give you the inside scoop on how to get we men to do pretty much anything you want… assuming you’re intentions are pure.

1. Be nice.

We married couples tend to forget how to ask for things nicely. We tend to take one another for granted. It’s assumed that we’re supposed to do this or that. Men like to be treated the same way you do… like they’re not expected to do things. Ask and you shall receive.

2. Don’t assume we know anything about what you want.

I used to get into a lot of trouble for not doing things that I never knew needed to be done. If you want your man to do something, you can’t hint around… clearly say what you want.

2. Tell us what you’re thinking AND feeling.

We don’t know what your thinking. Even if we have a clue… we don’t know what that means to you. We think differently… so even if you tell us what’s going on in there, we don’t know how it makes you feel. So when you communicate, you might say something like this, “When you don’t do this… it makes me feel….” Sometimes we don’t do what you want because we don’t see it the same way you do. When a loving husband knows how much something bothers his wife… he will change it, fix it or hit it with a club or something.

3. Let us do it our way in our time.

We’re not going to do it exactly the same way you do. Most of the time we won’t do it exactly when you want… and it’ll probably take longer as well. Be ready to truly delegate whatever it is you need. Give it away. If you’re going to worry and fret over it the whole time, you might as well keep the task for yourself.

4. Ask permission to nag in advance.

Nagging is okay… if it’s done right. Tell us a due date on a project… by the weekend, or maybe a week or so. If you give us a due date, and we don’t do it… that’s permission to nag all you want. We can’t even fight you on it. Reminders work better than nagging. Reminding is gooder.

5. Treat us how you want to be treated.

It’s the old Golden Rule. We want the same treatment you want. So even if we’re dropping the ball a bit, give us the benefit of the doubt. Offer to help. Find out if there’s something you could do to help us get motivated. Some of us don’t like making phone calls… maybe you could help us with that part. Some of us hate shopping. If you’ll take the lead on this attitude thing, assuming we haven’t, most men worth a crap will reciprocate.

6. Brag on every little thing we do. Three times each.

Men are not as simple as the media portrays us… except in this one way. If you brag on is OMG! OMG! We will lift mountains to get you to do it again next time. Sometimes wives take what we do for granted. If you wanted the roof fixed… then we fix it… it’s not a problem anymore so we’re on to the next issue. Take a moment and be grateful. It’s good for us… and it helps you enjoy the good things that are going on around you.

7. Pray for us.

Please, pray for us ladies! We’re a mess. And the better your man is… the more you should pray for him! Being a good man in this world is like running up a down escalator. It’s hard work and we need your support! We’re like computers in that way… if you put good stuff in, you’ll get good stuff out. I guess that’s another way we’re simple.

I know there will be readers who may be angered by this post… that’s fine. Everyone has been hurt by a stupid man, even we men, but that doesn’t give us the right to hate on all of them. There are good men out there… and sometimes they’re ruined because they’re taken for granted and unappreciated. Let’s hear it for the boys. 🙂

Did you enjoy this article? Listen to the podcast: Geek Loves Nerd 55 – Manipulate Your Husband

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About Roles & Trust In Marriage

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In the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” the main character’s mom mentioned something that stuck with me. It went something like this:

“The man may be the head of the house, but the woman is the neck.”

I gotta say… I love that. Never before or since have I heard a better illustration of how a man and wife work together to lead their family. It’s the perfect blend between traditional values and common sense.

In my marriage my wife is more than happy to leave the leadership to me… that’s because she knows I truly have her and the kid’s best interests in mind. I don’t make decisions selfishly. I’m no Giaus Baltar. That being said, I don’t make a single family decision without the complete support and agreement of my wife. We are a team. If we don’t agree, it’s not a right move for us. I trust her even when I’m not crazy about our disagreement on a particular move. In that way she is the neck to my head. We are inseparable. She gives direction and support.

In so many marriages I see spouses struggling with one another over power… over who will lead. Wives unable to trust their husbands and husbands unable to make selfless choices. Neither are able to fulfill their roles in the family because they’re out of sync, each trying to make up for the shortcomings of the other.

Secretly it’s not about power though… it’s about self-preservation and the avoidance of pain, which looks outwardly like a lack of trust and a grab for power. When couples are open and honest with one another about their own fears, they can start working for one another instead of against.

Here are some tips that have worked for Jenn and I when it comes to trusting one another’s roles in our marriage.

1. Figure out what your issues are.

Why are you unable to trust one another? What happened in your past (probably early childhood) that have caused you to make vows to protect yourself.

2. Share those issues, fears and shortcomings openly with your spouse.

Chances are that all of your issues are bumping into your spouses issues. Each of you pushing one another’s buttons unintentionally. This is not a time to be defensive. It’s a time to share your feelings and hear the pain behind them. If someone feels more strongly about something than you can understand… it’s because that’s how big of a deal it is to them.

3. Realize that your spouse is not your enemy or competition. They are your partner, friend and teammate.

If one of you have issues… then you both do. It’s not about one person working it out… it’s about both of you working on your issues together. You are more than a team… you are a unit. What hurts one hurts the other. You can abuse the relationship by taking your frustrations out on one another, or you can stick together and work out your frustrations together. In this way a bad situation can serve to bond you together rather than tear you apart.

4. Do all you can in yourself to help your spouse heal.

Once you figure out the reasons behind your trust issues the healing can begin… but it’s not instant or easy. Every day you have to make a choice to keep working on it and believe what doesn’t seem true… that you can trust those who love you completely. Spouses can help that process along by showing their love in new ways… by making real change that can be felt by the other. That’s where knowing your spouse’s love languages can come in handy.

5. Focus more on your own self-improvement than your spouse’s.

You can’t work on your trust issues if you’re waiting for the other person to start getting better before you do anything. You have to work on your problems like you want them to work on theirs, rather than monitoring them and only going as far as they do. This is the only area you’re supposed to be self-centered in. If we want an better relationship with an improved spouse… we have to become a person who deserves that.

When we can trust our spouse to fulfill their role, we are free to fulfill ours. It’s not about who’s the boss and who’s the slave… it’s like a machine, where every part does a different job… but they’re all equally important because without one if them the machine doesn’t work.

Young & In Love? Some Advice.

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A 17 year old girl asked me for advice last night. She has found The One… she is sure of it…. at 17. She’s struggling with her relationship with God but putting 99% of her energy into her flawed relationship with this guy. Here are some of the things I shared with her that I’d like to share with anyone who is considering marriage.

1. Put 99% of your energy into improving your relationship with God.

Connecting with God through prayer, Bible reading, Church attendance, obedience and struggle will benefit every area of your life. Marriage is basically connecting every part of your life to every part of someone else’s life… so why wouldn’t you want to work on it all rather than just your relationship?

2. You both deserve the best spouse in the world… but you can’t change him nor he you.

Focus on improving yourself rather than trying to change the other person. If they truly love you, they will do the same for you… and you will be able to trust them to do it. Dating someone and committing to marriage is the ultimate acceptance. If you connect in such a way to a severely flawed person, you are accepting the flaws… they will be less motivated to correct and work through them. So many times I see couples focused on the other persons flaws, putting most of their energy into turning the other person into someone they don’t even deserve themselves. We must become a person who deserves the best rather than finding someone flawed and trying to turn them into what we want.

3. Your spiritual life will in many ways be duplicated in your future children.

Most of us would probably admit that though our spiritual lives aren’t perfect… they work for us and are better than they once were. So the question I’ll ask you… would you want to give one of your children your spiritual life? If you said no, then you’ve got work to do. Having our hearts focused on God is the key to every bit of raising a child properly. If you’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing… how can you hold a child to a standard you’re not even holding to yourself?

4. I don’t know what I’m eating for dinner tomorrow, much less if I’ve found The One.

We humans are so limited… we can’t even choose where we want to go to dinner on a date… but we’ll be 100% sure that we’ve found the person we’re destined to marry. The truth is we don’t know anything… but we feel everything. Much like a new pair of shoes that we love until they become flawed… the feelings of an exciting relationship can change in an instant. A real relationship is not based on feelings alone.

5. Pray for what you want… but be open to what God wants.

She asked me how she should pray. I reminded her of Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus was about to be crucified… he was stressed. He prayed something like this… “If there is any other way You can do this… let’s do it that way and leave me out of it.” But then he said, “But not what I want… Let’s do what you want.” That’s how I pray. I pray for the things I think I need in my limited understanding. I ask for solutions that will work out best for me and in my timeline… but then I pause and open my heart and life for God to meet the needs He wants in the way He wants. How many times have thought God wasn’t working in our lives because we limited ourselves to believing that he was going to do things our way?

I don’t know if my advice was heeded… time will tell. I hope so. She’s at such a pivotal time in her life. It seems unfair that a 17 year old has that kind of power. If the 30 year old version of herself could only make an appearance… I’m sure she’d listen to her. Or would she?

Being Unequally Yoked Stinks!

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Today I got an email requesting some information on how to find happiness in a marriage where one spouse is Christian and the other is not.

I just came upon your site & looked through the marriage topic for anything on being unequally yoked. Do you have any wisdom on this subject? I am Born Again and in full-time ministry but my husband is not a Christian. This is becoming harder and harder. Thanks.

I replied asking for any specific questions or angles she’d like to hear about… but I thought I could address the whole topic in a general way.

I’ll start by saying that this is a difficult topic to address since I have never been in this situation personally. I have, however, seen the effect of being unequally yoked on the people involved in such a union, both spouses and children, in my 10+ years of ministry. It’s never ideal and in ever situation it’s a struggle for everyone involved.

Why Is Being Unequally Yoked A Struggle?

When is the last time you got into an heated discussion about Religion or Politics with a friend or co-worker with opposing views? There is nothing in the world people are more passionate about than those two topics. Now imagine being married to that person… sharing a home and a bed with someone who thinks everything you hold dear and sacred is stupid and a complete waste of time.

My wife and I always joke about how different we are… how there is no way we should be able to get along… but the reason it works is because our differences are on the surface. Just underneath we are in complete unity. Our Faith, politics, theories on child rearing, the trust we have in one another, our love for our family… exactly the same. But imagine a marriage where the only thing you have in common is what you eat for dinner, what you watch on TV and where you watch it.

Why Do Christian People Marry Non-Christians?

Most of the time folks who marry someone who is not of the same faith do so because they simply do not think it matters at the time. They believe that they can change the person… or that love will be enough to carry them through. Then others are not very committed to their faith and so their beliefs, though different than their potential mate, are not really practiced and are therefore mostly irrelevant. In rare cases one of the spouses find Christ afterward and then find themselves unequally yoked by accident.

Usually people with a Christian background will begin to depend on their faith more as they age and experience life. Having children also gets people taking their relationship with Christ more seriously. If they were raised in church, they’re typically going to want their kids raised in church. Though the Christian parent has the best intentions, they typically become the ‘bad guy’ of the family forcing children to get up early for church when Dad gets to stay home, enforcing rules that only they believe in… it can really be a huge hassle.

If you are a Christian and single, do yourself a favor. Realize that the feeling of being in love is not what keeps a marriage together… it is the depth of your commitment to what you believe that makes marriage vows stick. It makes so much sense it’s scary. How can you trust your potential spouse to believe in and live out his commitment to you when he doesn’t even share, much less live out, your commitment to God.

Creating a Weekly Schedule for Pre-Schoolers

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Recently my wife and I did an episode of Geek Loves Nerd focused on creating a schedule to keep our two pre-school aged kids busy during the week. I started working on the schedule the day after it recorded. Little did I know at the time that Jenn and I would be switching places and the schedule I was creating would become my new bible so to speak.

I thought I would share a little bit of how I came up with the schedule (which is still in the works and has yet to be tested properly). Subscribe to the RSS Feed to get more on this topic as it comes available.

1. I started with the events that were set in stone.

The kids get up at 7:30am every morning. Preschool is Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Staff meeting is always on Tuesday mornings and Lunch comes around every day along with dinner and church is at the same time every Sunday morning and Wednesday night. Once I dropped those set events in my schedule…

2. I started thinking about necessary things we need to do during the week.

There are things that need to be taken care of weekly that aren’t tied down to a set time or day. I’m talking about baths, naps, snacks, chores, grocery shopping and housework. This step is the one I figure will require the most amount of tweaking as I try out the schedule. Once I have these events filled in…

3. The remaining time can be filled with play, activities, free time or other constructive activities.

You’ll notice in my sample schedule below… I haven’t quite filled in all of the Open Time blocks yet. That’s because I’m still trying to find enough to do to keep us busy. My goal is to have something different every day of the week during the same times. So if the morning open time is for inside play… I’m going to have five to six different toys or games that I keep and only bring out on that day to play with them. So maybe Monday is lego day and there is this huge collection of Legos they can only use on Mondays. Tuesdays is Playdoh day… and so on. If I keep the toys during the week, they stay fresh and special. If I play along with them, the toys not only last longer… the time is better spent and constructive.

I want to do the same with outdoor play and outside events. I want to have at least 6-10 outdoor activities I can do with the kids… in warm and cold weather. I also need to come up with places we can go that are cheap/free during the week.

As you can see, this is still a work in progress. I welcome any input or tips in the comments. Stay tuned for the continuing saga that is Geek Loves Nerd!

Sample Weekly Schedule

Monday
7:00am Shower
7:30am Breakfast
8:00am Cleanup & Get Dressed
9:00am Pre-School
9:00am Time With Dunder
12:00pm Pick-up Jenna
12:30pm Lunch
1:00pm Open Time
2:00pm Nap Time
4:00pm Craft/Play/Park Time
5:30pm Jenn’s Home
5:30pm Open Time
7:00pm Dinner
8:00pm Clean up Dinner / Kid’s Quiet Time
8:30pm Bedtime

Tuesday

7:00am Shower
7:30am Breakfast
8:00am Cleanup & Get Dressed
9:00am Leave for Staff Meeting
9:30am Staff Meeting
(If No Staff)
8:30am Outside activity
12:00pm Lunch
12:30pm Open Time
2:00pm Nap Time
4:00pm Craft/Play/Park Time
5:30pm Jenn’s Home
5:30pm Open Time
7:00pm Dinner
8:00pm Clean up Dinner / Bathtime
8:30pm Bedtime
Wednesday
7:00am Shower
7:30am Breakfast
8:00am Cleanup & Get Dressed
9:00am Pre-School
9:00am Time With Dunder
12:00pm Pick-up Jenna
12:30pm Lunch
1:00pm Open Time
2:00pm Nap Time
4:00pm Open Time
5:30pm Jenn’s Home
6:00pm Dinner
6:30pm Leave for Church
7:30pm Church
9:30pm Bedtime
Thursday
7:00am Shower
7:30am Breakfast
8:00am Cleanup & Get Dressed
8:30am Outside activity
12:00pm Lunch
12:30pm Open Time
2:00pm Nap time
5:30pm Jenn’s Home
5:30pm Open Time
7:00pm Dinner
8:00pm Clean up Dinner / Bathtime
8:30pm Bedtime
Friday
7:00am Shower
7:30am Breakfast
8:00am Cleanup & Get Dressed
9:00am Pre-School
9:00am Time With Dunder
12:00pm Pick-up Jenna
12:30pm Lunch
1:00pm Open Time
2:00pm Nap Time
4:00pm Craft/Play/Park Time
5:30pm Jenn’s Home
5:30pm Open Time
7:00pm Dinner
8:00pm Clean up Dinner / Kid’s Quiet Time
8:30pm Bedtime
Saturday
12:00pm Lunch
12:30pm Open Time
2:00pm Nap time
7:00pm Dinner
8:00pm Clean up Dinner / Bathtime
8:30pm Bedtime
Sunday
7:30am Leave for Church
9:00am Church
2:00pm Lunch
2:30pm Nap Time
4:00pm Open Time
7:00pm Dinner
8:00pm Clean up Dinner / Kid’s Quiet Time
8:30pm Bedtime

Switching Places

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For those who listen to the Geek Loves Nerd podcast and even The Gospel of Kennison, my audio journal, I’ve mentioned on at least two occasions that I felt a major life change coming. At the time, I had no idea what that would be… but it came anyway. For a time, while things were in transition, we couldn’t talk about it… but now that the dust as settled, I’d like to share a bit of what is going on.

In a nutshell: Jenn and I are trading places.

Jennifer is seeking full-time employment in the accounting field. I have severely cut my hours and gone to a part-time status with my employer. I’m staying home with the kids… Jenn is going to work.

Why? That’s a difficult question to answer without telling a 4 and a half year story. Jenn has always struggled with leaving her job. That being said she has always been the best Mom a child could ask for… but almost every day has been a struggle for her. That is why she’s my hero. She’s done an amazing job, better than most, in spite of how the felt while doing it.

For my part, I simply got tired of seeing her have to work so hard to try to stay happy. I got to the point that I was willing to do anything. In order for me to get to that point I had to let go of certain ideas. My ‘perfect’ image of the traditional nuclear family wasn’t so perfect. It wasn’t going to work the way we had it set up. Jennifer wasn’t flawed or broken… we were both just trying to force her into a role she wasn’t meant to play. The full-time, stay at home Mom thing was eating her alive and it was far from perfect. The ideal of raising our kids ourselves hasn’t changed… just the image of what that looked like has.

She asked me how it was fair that I give up my career for her. First, I’m not giving up my calling as a minister… second, how is it any different that what we asked her to do nearly 5 years ago?

Some will be judgmental and prideful. You don’t get to judge. That right goes to myself and and my children. We have decided that she has been and forever will be the best Mom on the planet… because she did a better job than most people who enjoy every moment of it. She has earned this and I’m happy to do it for her.

So far the transition has gone very well. I love spending so much time with the kids. The kids haven’t noticed a thing. Jenn and I have always been equally important to them. They have no real preference. That face is benefiting us greatly. I clean house, do the dishes, prepare some meals… haven’t really tackled anything resembling laundry yet. Some things are best left to the pros.

Change, even good change, is funky. Especially when it’s not instant. Transition kind of floats you in a limbo of waiting and impatience, hope and despair. As we float through the next few weeks I know that though we don’t know what the future holds… someone does and He has a plan to prosper us and not to harm us. Plans that include hope and a good future.

I’m glad we found this new course. It’s different than we planned… but it’s working… and working very well. I like where we’re headed even though it wasn’t how we planned to get there. Joy is returning to the Kennison home. Life is good.

You are welcomed to join us on this new chapter of our lives as it plays out on Geek Loves Nerd the blog and podcast and your prayers and comments are always welcome.